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Avoiding Common HR Errors

By: Janice Bandick

Published On: May 13, 2015

People are at the heart of every organization. For businesses of all sizes, human resources plays an essential role in developing a company's strategy. Some of the key functions of Human Resources include recruitment, on-boarding, training, performance evaluation, ensuring workplace communication, and workplace safety.


human resources


Successful organizations recognize the important role a human resources team plays in ensuring the success of the company and have begun including HR leaders in their decision-making process. Because of the increasingly large impact HR can have, human resource management mistakes can be devastating for a company. From litigation to employee replacement costs, a toxic workplace culture to decreased profits, HR mistakes can weaken or even destroy a company.

Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that your organization avoids these common, costly mistakes.

Hiring errors

Employee turnover, as everyone knows, is costly for businesses. Additionally, high rates of turnover can send a bad message to employees and external business partners.

Hiring the wrong person can negatively impact workplace culture and communication; the goal should always be to find someone with not only the required skills but also the values and personality to fit in with the rest of your team.

Hiring employees is an expensive process, but investing time to avoid errors will avoid having to repeat the process again for the same position. Job postings should be carefully worded and clear expectations set out. Although certain positions may need to be filled quickly it’s important for HR to still conduct background checks, contact references, and conduct multiple interviews with competitive applicants.

Lack of Training

Bringing new employees on without a proper on-boarding system is a mistake that far too many companies make. Without clear direction about what is expected in their new role, employees often end up feeling frustrated and often under-perform. Taking time to train employees is a valuable investment in the future of your business. By including training in the on-boarding process, your employees become more fully engaged and understand how to use their skills to best benefit the company. Helping new employees settle in goes a long way toward retaining them’and avoiding employee turnover.

Poor Feedback

Feedback can’t be a once-a-year tradition. Instead, feedback should be given on a continual basis to ensure employees are performing to their highest potential year-round. Positive feedback can help employees feel valued and like their contributions are important to the success of the company. Negative feedback should always be accompanied by a correction plan for the employee so that he or she knows how to improve. Any type of negative feedback should also be recorded in the employee’s file, in case you ever need to terminate that employee because of his or her performance.

Inadequate HR policies

Don’t overlook the importance of an internal HR audit. Set aside time annually to make sure your organization's policies are current and complete. Employee handbooks and forms should be reviewed at least twice a year, and any pertinent changes to policies clearly communicated to employees. Many companies are still without social media policies – placing themselves at risk of security breaches and reputational damage, among other issues. Other companies do not have policies regarding unused vacation time payout, unpaid sick leave, parental leave, etc. Having policies and plans for handling these events reduces the stress, liabilities and costs to your business.


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